We trust doctors and teachers but not the politicians

Sunday Telegraph, Sydney | Sunday 3 March 2019

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DOCTORS and teachers are among the most trusted professions in Australia, new research shows.

Doctors sit at 91 per cent and teachers at 84 per cent, followed closely by engineers (83 per cent) and police (78 per cent).

And despite the recent issues in the financial and banking sectors, accountants are also rated highly, trusted by three-quarters of Australians.

The trust ratings are based on a Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand survey of 16 groups to generate a deeper understanding of trust in institutions and professions.

CAANZ’s Geraldine Magarey said that trust in institutions appears to be falling.

“Who and why we trust is changing but trust in experts remains constant. That may be because experts are objective, speaking from their expertise rather than from a self-serving position, which often undercuts trust in institutions,” she said. Political parties are the least trusted institution at a measly 20 per cent, followed by news media (39 per cent) and religious institutions (40 per cent).

And, after the Banking Royal Commission’s scathing report, banks are not far behind, trusted by 42 per cent of Australians, according to the findings. By contrast, 67 per cent of New Zealanders trust banks.

The research also found that the increase in technology as a means to communicate is not damaging trust in the delivery of services, however the move away from face-to-face contact is. “As we move towards more electronic communication, we must also not neglect our more traditional ways of maintaining relationships, such as meeting people and getting on the phone,” Ms Magarey said.